Police set up Special Task Force to check political vigilante groups

The police have condemned activities of political vigilante groups, saying it has established a Special Investigation Task Force to look into their activities.

This has come about after two of such groups of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) clashed during the by-election at Talensi on Tuesday.

Azorka Boys identified as protective of NDC members and the Bolga Bull Dogs of the NPP clashed at Tongo, the capital of Talensi, on Tuesday, amidst the exchange of gunshots, which forced the joint police-military deployment there to fire warning shots.

But in a statement issued on Wednesday, July 8 and signed by Reverend David Ampah-Bennin, the Director General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, serious exception has been taken to activities of these groups.

“We have identified such groups as Azorka Boys, Bamba Boys, Invincible Forces and Bolga Bull Dogs as the main political vigilante groups in these acts of lawlessness,” the statement noted.

“The Police recognizes the constitutional rights of individuals to form and belong to associations, as provided in Article 21 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.

“However, we want to emphasize that it is unlawful for political parties, groups, organizations or individuals to encourage the formation of vigilante groups and other associations that assume the character of a security organization, unless that person, group or organization has been granted a licence for that purpose under Police Service (Private Security Organisation) Regulation, 1992 (LI 1571).

“The Police is hereby serving notice to all, that a Special Investigation Task Force has been established to investigate the membership of such illegal groups and their leadership with the view to prosecuting them in accordance with L.I. 1571 mentioned above.”

On the security around the by-elections, the police said adequate measures were put in place.

“Generally, these policing strategies and measures worked perfectly with isolated incidents of violence which we condemn in no uncertain terms.”

It said further investigations have been initiated into the violence that characterized Tuesday’s democratic activity with the docket to be forwarded to the Attorney General for further action.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

Twitter: @kwame_amoh

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